Blues great to perform
On With the Show’s
Flashback to 1990s
HE is known as the `Godfather of Australian Blues’ and Matthew `Dutch’ Tilders will show audiences just why he has been given this grand title when he performs at the Gold Coast Art Centre later this month.
Dutch Tilders and the Blues Club is gathering a new momentum of blues fans throughout Australia and it is no wonder with its namesake Matthew `Dutch’ at the helm. Dutch is his nickname, derived from his heritage as a Dutch immigrant. He arrived in Australia with his parents, four brothers and his sister in 1955.
Tilders played his first gig at the age of 15 at Melbourne’s Collingwood Town Hall in a concert with none other than rock’n’roll great Johnny O’Keefe.
The guitar – both electric and acoustic – is his instrument of choice although he has often joked he only took up the guitar to give his hands something to do while he sang. However, it proved to be among his strength. He bought his first guitar in 1959 and a year later was playing in coffee lounges around Melbourne.
Tilders, blessed with song writing skills, found the blues was the area in which he felt most comfortable and was able to truly express his feelings. His first record was made in 1972 and released a year later. Brian Cadd was one of his callaborators.
In 1975 Tilders signed up with independent label Eureka, laying down two records with Jimmy Conway and Kevin Borch while also performing with various bands including Mickey Finn, the Elks and the Cyril B Bunter Band. This was followed in 1980 with the formation of the R&B Six in which he featured.
Tilders has also toured with John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry and Billy Connelly. He said his guitar playing has been heavily influenced by guitar-picking greats such as Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Blake. His expertise has inspired a generation of guitar playing enthusiasts and, as the story goes, even blues legend BB King thought he was so masterful when he first heard Tilders play that he assumed the Australian singer and picker must be black.
Dutch Tilders, born Mattheus Frederikus Wilhelmus Tilders (Matthew Tilders) on August 29, 1941 in Nigmegan, Netherlands, died of lung cancer on April 23, 2011, aged 69. His bands over the years included the R&B Six, The Blues Club and The Legends Band. His albums included Live at the Station, The Blues Is My Life and The Blues Had a Baby. His final release `Going on a Journey’ was recorded after his cancer diagnosis in 2011.Tweet